Until the industrial revolution, WIND, WATER and EARTH were, along with biomasses, the only energy sources drawn by humankind.
THE “WIND WATER EARTH” PRODUCTION CHAIN
WIND turns into energy. Wind energy is the product of the conversion of kinetic energy of the wind into electric or mechanical energy with wind machines (wind power machines, mini wind machines and offshore wind machines). A wind power machine can be used both as a single unit and in large wind farms with outputs which currently range from a few kW for a single machine to 7 MW. It is a product which, although it currently has a heavy visual impact, in the future will increasingly tend to be integrated into our landscapes, cities and houses, with an architecture that can make it imperceptible and with the advantage of having increased producibility compared to the energy from the Sun, with which it can be integrated to make a house or a geographical area more autonomous.
WATER turns into energy. Water energy is the product of the conversion of kinetic energy, due to a quota leap and to the capacity of the fluid mass, into electric or mechanical energy, through hydraulic machines (hydroelectric power plant and mini hydroelectric plant).
While hydroelectric machines and plants are mature products, coming from proven technological experience, mini hydroelectric plants still need a lot of development to make the machines more efficient, in order to take advantage of small leaps and minimum capacities.
The EARTH has many usable energy sources. Among these, geothermal energy generated by means of geological heat sources, transforming into thermal energy by means of the physical principle of thermal exchange with a heat conducting fluid (i.e. water) which increase or decreases its temperature, or turns into vapour by means of enthalpy leaps. (enthalpy, status function expressing the quantity of free energy in a thermodynamic system).
Medium and high enthalpy geothermal energy uses technologies adopted from the boiler-making sector. Low enthalpy geothermal energy uses the subsoil as a heat reservoir thanks to the heat pumps. Low enthalpy geothermal energy has notable possibilities for development, and is very interesting if combined with photovoltaic systems and solar heat collectors, mainly for “passive” buildings, meaning those able to be completely energetically self-sufficient.
THE AGENTS OF THE PRODUCTION CHAIN
The Wind, Water and Earth production chain is made of a value chain including different agents: plant component manufacturers (tubes, valves, tanks, etc.); machinery manufacturers (wind machines, hydraulic machines, heat pumps, etc.); designers and installers.
ICIM’S PROPOSAL FOR AGENTS OF THE PRODUCTION CHAIN
Driven by market requests and interested agents, ICIM has developed and is continuing to develop a series of certification and qualified policy guidance services (ACCREDIA accreditations) which allow manufacturers of industrial system components, designers, and installers of the systems themselves to have both qualifying coverage of their own products and services, as well as support and aid for their work.